Monday, 7 December 2009

AGRA launches micro dosing fertiliser project

5 december. Ouagadougou. AGRA has initiated an $8.9 million fertilizer project for smallholder farmers in West Africa’s desert margins.

The funding will be implemented by the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) and national partners. The project will enable 300,000 farm households to tackle the challenges of harsh climate and depleted soils.

Through the program, farmers will use targeted, minute amounts of fertilizers to increase crop productivity, combined with strengthened farmer organizations, and improved access to credit and to agro-dealer shops. The program aims to sustainably boost farmers’ grain yield by 50% and their income by 30%, the statement said.

Commenting on the project, Dr Namanga Ngongi, President of AGRA said “dry lands need not be barren lands. We have seen farmers pilot the use of microdosing to nourish their crops and grow their incomes. Our new partnership will scale-up these efforts, to reach hundreds of thousands of farmers.”

According to the statement, microdosing applies small amounts of fertilizer with the seed rather than spreading it over an entire field. It is affordable and gives plants a quick start by boosting their root growth, which enables the plant to capture the small amounts of water that fall in West Africa’s dry lands.


AGRA supports West Africa's farmers with $8.9m fertilizer project